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miattii University 


Annual Report 

to the Governor of 
Che State of Ohio 


Tor the Year Ending December ml wt 

Annual Report 


Miami University 


Governor of the State of Ohio 


Year Ending December 31, 1903. 

Springfield, Ohio: 

The Springfield Publishing Company, 

State Printers, 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 

Seventy-ninth Annual Report 

To His Excellency George K. Nash, Governor of the State of Ohio, 
Columbus, Ohio: 

In compliance with established custom, the undersigned begs leave 
to submit this, the seventy-ninth annual report of Miami University, for the 
year ending December 31st, 1903. 


The institution reporting is one of the oldest state universities in 
the Union. By an act of Congress passed May 5th, 1792, the President 
of the United States was authorized and empowered to lease to John 
Cleves Symmes a certain tract of land, a portion of which should be for- 
ever reserved for the support of an institution of learning. By an 
act of Congress, March 3rd, 1803, the legislature of Ohio was authorized 
to enter one complete township west of the Big Miami in lieu of the 
original township within the Symmes purchase, and the trust was vested 
in the legislature of Ohio, to be held forever for the purpose of edu- 
cation, as set forth in the several articles, and for no other purpose 
whatever. Six weeks later the State of Ohio, on April 15th, 1803, in 
accepting the trust, passed an act entitled "An Act to Provide for the 
Locating of a College Township in the District of Cincinnati." Under 
this Act the lands of Miami University were located. February 17th, 
1809, the legislature of Ohio passed an Act entitled "An Act to Establish 
Miami University." Under this act the university was established, the 
President and Trustees were constituted a body politic and corporate, the 
trust was accepted and administered upon, and provision made to lease 
the land for a term of ninety-nine years, renewable forever, and subject 
to revaluation every fifteen years. In 1810 the Legislature passed an act 
repealing the clause which provided for the revaluation. In 181 2, another 
act was passed, which provided that the actual settlers should from a 
given date, and forever after, pay a yearly rent of six per cent, upon the 
purchase money. Thus, by positive legislation, added to the act which 
repealed the law providing for a revaluation, the university was for- 
ever hindered from securing an increased revenue from the lands of 
Oxford township. Under these limitations the institution lived, with 
varying periods of prosperity, until 1873, when the income became insuffi- 
cient to meet the demands for a college of its grade and the university 
was closed. 

For forty-nine years preceding its closing Miami University had 
educated many of the most distinguished men in church, state and republic. 


The recognition of its worth as a civilizing factor in Ohio life among 
its many friends led them to demand its reopening. The Legislature of 
the state of Ohio had accepted the responsibility of maintaining the insti- 
tution as a sacred trust from the Federal Government under provision 
that had been made for its establishment while Ohio was yet a territory, 
and it became the unavoidable admission that a great injustice had been 
done the institution by the acts of 1810 and 181 2, which prevented the 
revaluation and secured an income based only upon the insignificant 
original selling price of its ■ lands. The argument was, if the institu- 
tion had not thus been deprived of the support intended for it by the 
provision originally made for its establishment and by the State of Ohio, 
in its acceptance of the trust in 1803, that its annual income would have 
been greater than that enjoyed by any other institution in the State. 

After giving due consideration to this argument and to the history 
of the obligations the. commonwealth owed it for its contribution to civili- 
zation, the general assembly of the State of Ohio made appropriation for 
its reopening, and Miami University began again in 1885, after a lapse 
of twelve years, to receive students. From 1885 t0 1896 the legislature 
from time to time made appropriations for the annual support of the 
institution. In February, 1896, the general assembly provided for a fund, 
to be known as "the Ohio and Miami University Fund," by levying an 
annual tax of three one-hundredths of a mill upon the property of the 
State, to be divided between Ohio and Miami universities in the ratio 
of seven-twelfths to the former and five-twelfths to the latter. 

In 1902 the general assembly passed an act making an additional 
levy of one-thirtieth of a mill, to be divided in the same ratio between 
Ohio and Miami universities, for the establishment of State normal 
schools at the two institutions referred to. This amounted to an exact 
levy of six and one-third hundredths of a mill for the two institutions, 
and, upon an estimated valuation of two billion dollars, would yield to 
Miami University for the fiscal years of 1903-4, an income of fifty-two 
thousand, five hundred dollars for annual support. The one-thirtieth of a 
mill provided for by the Legislature for the support of the normal schools 
was an impossible levy, because of the fact that, in making levies, it is 
mathematically essential to operate upon hundreths of a mill as a basis. It 
became necessary, therefore, for the Auditor of State, in making the levy, to 
cut off one-third of a hundredth of a mill, so that the actual levy for the Ohio 
and Miami university fund for these two years will be six hundredths of a 
mill instead of six and one-third hundredths, thus reducing the income 
thai the Legislature intended for us by $2,750 during each of the two 
years. This loss is serious in light of the fact that the institution has 
grown rapidly and that the demands made upon it by the young people 
who come to iis halls have placed upon the Hoard of Trustees the necessity 
of using every dollar available. 



Under provisions of the Act of March uth, [903, by which a normal 
school was to be established as one of the departments of Miami Uni- 
versity, such a normal school was to he opened tinder the direction of the 
Board of Trustees of the institution not later than September, 1903. Ohio, 
however, for so long a time having neglected the provision of proper 
facilities for the training of its teachers, the school men of the State were 
quite unanimous in their demand that the opening of the normal school 
should not he postponed until 1903. In response to this demand, the 
Board of Trustees of Miami University established the Ohio State Normal 
School for the training of teachers and began its work under the direc- 
ts -11 of the President of the University, the Dean of the Normal School, and 
the Faculties in September, 1902. Funds from the levy, of course, were 
not available, and it was necessary for the Board of Trustees to draw 
upon invested funds. The opening of the; normal school involved an 
expenditure of approximately $12,000, for which the State had made 
no provision. The authorities, however, feel that the large number of 
young people preparing for successful work as teachers in the common 
schools of Ohio who have found their way to the institution for pro- 
fessional training have, amply justified the withdrawal of this amount 
from their permanent funds and have no doubt that the Governor and 
Legislature will feel that the Trustees should be reimbursed. 


From September, 1902, the beginning of the administration of the 
undersigned, to the last of August, 1903, the total attendance of students 
in the institution was 751. The summer session, the first ever held, extend- 
ing from June to August, is responsible in large measure for this substan- 
tial increase in enrollment. The summer term enabled a great many 
of those who are employed as teachers throughout the common school 
year an opportunity to take professional training and also regular col- 
lege work, the better to fit themselves for successful teaching. The 
increase, however, is not due altogether to the summer school. It is very 
gratifying to be able to report that the College of Liberal Arts, the old 
and historic department of the institution, has also enjoyed a very marked 
increase in enrollment. Exclusive, of the summer school, the increase in 
attendance is 125 per cent, greater than that of the college year 1901-2. 


Miami University was certainly given an ideal location by the Fed- 
eral Government. The counties of Butler, Preble, Montgomery, Darke, 


Miami, Shelby, Mercer, Auglaize and Van Wert, covering an area of 
about three thousand square miles, and having a population of 438,126, 
according to the census of 1900, are contiguous to the institution, and, 
being without any other co-educational college or institution than Miami 
University within their territory, are its natural constituents. Adams, 
Clermont, Highland, Pike, Scioto, Ross, Greene, Fayette, Champaign and 
Logan counties, with a population of 295,413, are natural patrons of the 
institution and have been in the past and are now well represented in 
the student body. The counties of Hamilton, Warren, Clark, Hardin, 
Allen and Clinton have each high grade educational institutions doing 
splendid work within their own borders. These institutions, however, 
are unable to care for all their own young people of college age, and the 
overflow, representing this population of 597,365, is naturally in the direc- 
tion of Miami University. In fact, the, twenty-five counties of south- 
western Ohio, with a population of 1,182,831, or more than one-fourth 
of the inhabitants of the State, are more meagerly supplied with institu- 
tions of higher learning than other sections of the state densely pop- 
ulated. Miami University is, therefore, opportunely located in the midst 
of a population of nearly half a million young men and young women 
of college age.. 


As the authorities of the State in the past have provided for its main- 
tenance, they will, no doubt, recognize the need of more substantial support 
for the. future. The phenomenal increase in attendance makes it quite 
necessary that provision should be made in the way of dormitory accom- 
modations for young ladies. The State Normal School is now housed in 
the same building with the College of Liberal Arts. In order to do the work 
expected of it, a building should be provided for its exclusive use. In 
view of the past history of the institution, its present successes, and its 
possibilities for the future, we feel warranted in asking your Excellency 
to commend its needs, as the ward of the State, to our lawmakers. They, 
as patriotic and appreciative citizens of the great commonwealth of Ohio, 
will doubtless respond gladly to your suggestions and do all that should 
be done to make the future of Miami University worthy of its great past. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Guy Potter Benton, 

President of Miami University. 

Oxford, Ohio, November 21st, [903. 

0112 105843947